Can a Thunderbolt display switch between two computers?

Can a Thunderbolt display switch between two computers?
If a Thunderbolt display is the primary display for a Mac Mini, is it possible for the display to switch to a MacBook Air? Without necessarily pulling the Thunderbolt connection from the Mac Mini? (Extra credit if this means the two machines could share the same USB-connected keyboard and mouse, via the same display?)

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch)

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2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    The display has a thunderbolt cable AND a thunderbolt port. If you connect an iMac to the cable and a mac book pro or mac book air with an optional thunderbolt cable connected to the port then you can use 2 sources. HOWEVER in order to switch displays you either need to shut down or disconnect the computer using the monitor i.e. the display "remembers" the active port and will only switch if this original source is turned off or disconnected.
    I use my iMac in dual display mode but if I connect my MBA and turn off the iMac, the MBA can use the extra display AND the extra USB and ethernet port (and be charged at the same time). I do not have a USB keyboard but suspect the two machines could share the same keyboard and mouse since the ports seem to move with the display source.

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  • No, the Thunderbolt Display only has one input cable, so you'd need to switch the cable between the two computers manually.

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